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  1. #1
    Illuminati Bill Gletsos's Avatar
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    Two Knights versus Pawn endgame (was 2018 Isle of Man)

    Karjakin shows his technique in the following game.

    Event "Chess. com IoM Masters"]
    [Site "?"]
    [Date "2018.10.24"]
    [Round "?"]
    [White "Karjakin, Sergey"]
    [Black "Sevian, Samuel"]
    [ECO "C88"]
    [WhiteElo "2760"]
    [BlackElo "2634"]
    [Result "1-0"]

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  2. #2
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Black should have drawn that easily. His last P was two squares beyond the Troitsky Line. Looks like Black headed for the wrong corner, where White's other N could help restrict its movements. Black could still draw by 81... Ke8 according to the tablebase.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    Black should have drawn that easily. His last P was two squares beyond the Troitsky Line. Looks like Black headed for the wrong corner, where White's other N could help restrict its movements. Black could still draw by 81... Ke8 according to the tablebase.
    Still ridiculously difficult to win such and endgame even with opponent's incorrect play. To be frank, I would not even find a plan.
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  4. #4
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    2N v P instructional video

    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelBaron View Post
    Still ridiculously difficult to win such and endgame even with opponent's incorrect play. To be frank, I would not even find a plan.
    I suspect that the top professionals would make sure they can handle it after even Karpov didn't know the right drawing method and headed straight to the wrong corner. Even so, the tablebase shows that even the winners didn't always play the right moves. And Sevian had the same theoretically drawn P position as Karpov, but headed to a different wrong corner.

    I've done it before in an online game many years ago against someone who didn't realize there was a danger, because I had some vague ideas from Averbakh's book on N endgames, and his P was further back. But I would hate to put it through a tablebase even if I remembered, and I doubt that I could do it against strong opposition.

    IM Sagar Shah posts a very instructive 2 knights vs pawn endgame analysis (Troitsky line) with an example tournament game, and shows the right corner to run to when you have a N-P.

    “The history of the 20th century is full of examples of countries that set out to redistribute wealth and ended up redistributing poverty.”
    “There’s no point blaming the tragedies of socialism on the flaws or corruption of particular leaders. Any system which allows some people to exercise unbridled power over others is an open invitation to abuse, whether that system is called slavery or socialism or something else.”—Thomas Sowell

  5. #5
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    Its hardly an ending people invest much time into as its very rare.
    Having said that I had the Kp v KNN against Max Illingworth at the Australian Open in 2009, the black pawn was on the c3 and I knew the position was a draw, although it took me awhile to work out where to place my king.
    Solo then had the exact same position just flipped against Michael Steadman at the 2011 Doeberl Cup (black pawn f3). Solo managed to score a win as Steadman took his king to the wrong corner.

    Id link the games but I don't know how.

  6. #6
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    No idea why the first game works in the viewer but the second doesn't.
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  7. #7
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Max Illingworth View Post
    No idea why the first game works in the viewer but the second doesn't.
    Neither works for me. I generally put the headers (event, site, date etc) outside the viewer as this reduces the risk of issues.

    [Event "Australian op"] [Site "Manly Sydney"] [Date "2009.01.08"] [Round "8"] [White "Illingworth, Max"] [Black "Mandla, Blair"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A43"] [WhiteElo "2250"] [BlackElo "2116"] [PlyCount "189"] [EventDate "2009.01.02"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "11"] [EventCountry "AUS"] [SourceTitle "CBM 128 Extra"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2009.03.05"] [SourceVersion "2"] [SourceVersionDate "2009.03.25"] [SourceQuality "1"]
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    [Event "Doeberl Cup 49th"] [Site "Canberra"] [Date "2011.04.23"] [Round "5"] [White "Solomon, Stephen J"] [Black "Steadman, Michael VR"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C04"] [WhiteElo "2398"] [BlackElo "2217"] [PlyCount "221"] [EventDate "2011.04.21"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "AUS"] [SourceTitle "CBM 141 Extra"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2011.05.03"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2011.05.03"] [SourceQuality "1"]
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  8. #8
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Is anyone surprised that of all people on ChessChat, Solo would be the one to grind out the win? As a renowned endgame specialist, he knew the right technique here, and just within the 50-move cutoff. For example, 79. Nb6 moves the N far away, but prepares to cut the K off from the safe corner, i.e. is 79... Kd8 80. Kd6 with a barrier, and Steadman had his P above the Trotsky line so had a theoretical draw, but like Sevian, headed for the corner where the blockading N was in range, first to help form a barrier at move 90, cutting off g4, and of course being in range to deliver the mating attack.

    Even so, the tablebase says that Black was drawing for a long time. I’ve inserted some of the key points in the PGN below, with notations of ? for moves that change the result from drawing to losing or winning to drawing, ! for quickest win or longest resistance, and ?? or !! for the only losing or winning moves (even if trivial). As can be seen, Solo played mostly very good moves, but even he let the win slip at two points, which shows just how hard this endgame is for mere mortals.

    [White "Solomon, Stephen J"] [Black "Steadman, Michael VR"] [Result "1-0"]
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    Last edited by Capablanca-Fan; 01-11-2018 at 01:53 AM.
    “The history of the 20th century is full of examples of countries that set out to redistribute wealth and ended up redistributing poverty.”
    “There’s no point blaming the tragedies of socialism on the flaws or corruption of particular leaders. Any system which allows some people to exercise unbridled power over others is an open invitation to abuse, whether that system is called slavery or socialism or something else.”—Thomas Sowell

  9. #9
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    The end of Solo's game even made it into this article about Troitsky's great endgame studies.

    BTW, the name Troitsky (Тро́ицкий) is derived from Troitsa (Тро́ица) meaning Trinity.
    Last edited by Capablanca-Fan; 05-11-2018 at 02:50 PM.
    “The history of the 20th century is full of examples of countries that set out to redistribute wealth and ended up redistributing poverty.”
    “There’s no point blaming the tragedies of socialism on the flaws or corruption of particular leaders. Any system which allows some people to exercise unbridled power over others is an open invitation to abuse, whether that system is called slavery or socialism or something else.”—Thomas Sowell

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlairMandla View Post
    Its hardly an ending people invest much time into as its very rare.
    Having said that I had the Kp v KNN against Max Illingworth at the Australian Open in 2009, the black pawn was on the c3 and I knew the position was a draw, although it took me awhile to work out where to place my king.
    Solo then had the exact same position just flipped against Michael Steadman at the 2011 Doeberl Cup (black pawn f3). Solo managed to score a win as Steadman took his king to the wrong corner.

    Id link the games but I don't know how.
    But its always tricky to play it out OTB.
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